Episode 22 | Transcript

Martin Kihn: From Stand-up to SVP, Data Cloud vs other CDPs, and Buyer Intent Data

Anthony Lamot: Hey, Marty! Welcome to the show!

Martin Kihn: Hello! Great to be here.

Anthony Lamot: It’s such a pleasure to have you here. I’m really bummed out that I didn’t get to meet you in person at Connections. We kind of missed each other, but just for the occasion.

Martin Kihn: Oh, yes. Nice shirt. Yes.

Anthony Lamot: Thank you. For those who are only listening, not watching on Youtube, I’m wearing a Connections Hoodie, because it’s a great new line of swag that came out there.

Anthony Lamot: But today’s not about Connections; today is all about Martin Kihn. Marty, if I look back at your career, you know, starting from your early days in advertising to becoming SVP of Strategy at Salesforce, I’d be curious to learn about the key moments or decisions that significantly shaped your career path. Could you share that with me and the audience?

Martin Kihn: Yeah, I mean, it seems like a random career. At least, that’s what my mother thinks. But I started out, I wanted to be an actor. Actually. So I was a theater major. And then I came across the realization early on that I had no talent, and acting is actually a lot harder than it looks. You know people out there. It’s like golf. It looks so easy on television. But it’s actually really hard.

Martin Kihn: So at any rate, that didn’t work out. And I tried stand-up comedy. But, you know, I wanted to be a writer, basically. So I was, I was trying to, you know, get some background for being a writer. And I was actually professional. Right was a magazine writer in New York, for in the nineties. I wrote for a New York magazine, Forbes, I wrote for Gq. And I ended up at MTV. Writing for a television program that was well known in 1999, a pop-up video it was called. And it was basically there were bubbles on top of music videos with information.

Martin Kihn: And then, I was doing that one day, and I thought, you know, I’ll never be able to afford an apartment as a writer in New York. So I went to business school, and that that was the reason, more or less, you know, to be quite honest. But it it turned out when I came. When I, I like business school. I enjoyed it, and I graduated, and I became a management consultant.

Martin Kihn: And what I end up doing as a management consultant was PowerPoint decks, you know, it’s basically information on a slide. And then I was presenting it was very similar to working at pop-up video very similar to trying to be a standup comedian. So I think it’s related, you know, in a way, it’s storytelling and then I realized as a management consultant that that wasn’t really a good fit.

Martin Kihn: I wrote a book about that, and then I ended up in the ad business, and that was much better. I was a digitized. I was in digital advertising. I was doing measurement. And that was actually a really good fit, because there was a combination of the creative side and the analytical side which I have left brain, right brain, and then I ended up at I was recruited into Gartner, and I ended up at Salesforce, you know. It’s all. It’s all linear, in a way. I’ve had probably only four jobs since business school.

Martin Kihn: But they each one was a little better. And then this job is Salesforce. Very interesting. I get to present. I get to speak. I get to explain things. But I also, there’s an analytical component as well, cause it’s a software company. So.

Anthony Lamot: That’s amazing. You’ve been through so many different pathways in your career. But it’s interesting to see how they all come together now, and I can imagine that all of those skills at different phases in your life are to some extent useful. Now.

Martin Kihn: Well, the one I, you know, I’m a little embarrassed about the stand-up comedy crew because I never really got out of the open mic phase just a little above. But the good thing about that experience, and I recommend it to people. Try it, you know, or do improv or something, because now, when I present at a corporate event, no one will ever throw anything at me, you know no one will scream and and leave the room. It’ll never be as bad as my worst show as a comedian, so I don’t get nervous, you know. It’s it’s all. It’s actually very easy to do a corporate presentation. People are polite and well behaved, and so so that it’s a good training.

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Anthony Lamot: Absolutely and what you said about that book that you wrote, I think is interesting. I was reminded by Bobby Gina, your CMO for Marketing Cloud, or the CMO for Marketing Cloud, that you wrote this pretty notorious book, I think, back at the day, and it it was kind of interesting, so Kate feels a bit more about that.

Martin Kihn: Yeah, I was. I was a management consultant in New York not in the media business. I wanted to be in the media business. But this was right after the like. 2001, there was a big recession like the market crashed the Nasdaq had had gone up Fivex during the dot-com boom, and it crashed so it was not a good time in business, so I ended up mostly consulting in the consumer healthcare space.

Martin Kihn: And I didn’t like consulting. I I thought that people were phoney. I I felt they were s trying to sound intelligent, but they weren’t, and I had a bad attitude. Essentially so. I wrote a book about it called House of Lies, and it was supposed to be a dictionary. It was like, con consulting to English dictionary cause I’m like, I’m gonna tell you how, if you’re taught, if you’re listening to your consultant, this is what they’re really saying, cause they try to sound smart, you know. They say, you know, leverage going forward, and, you know, push back, and all this stuff and

Martin Kihn: but they’re they’re not English words. They’re they’re the words that consultants use just to sound smart. So, anyway. Then it became a memoir, and then it came out, and consultants hated it, and but I was quitting anyway, so I didn’t care. But everyone was mad at me, and you know they were. They thought I was an evil man. And then, some years later, it was actually turned into a television program on Showtime starring. Don Cheadle. Don Cheadle plays a character. It’s called House of Lies.

Martin Kihn: Plays a character in Marty Khan is based on me, Marty Kihn. That’s my name, Marty Kihn. And when that show came out all of a sudden. Consultants love me, and I was like the most popular guy around, and they wanted me to go back to the reunion, and they forgot completely about how mean they were when the book came out. So like, that’s very interesting, you know. If you’re associated with Hollywood and show. Business people love you, but if you’re associated with like truth, telling and satire

Martin Kihn: and the written word, and people don’t. So I learned something.

Anthony Lamot: It’s a somewhat sad and cynical reflection on society as a whole, but I do.

Martin Kihn: And they’re superficial.

Anthony Lamot: Yes, yeah, it can be. It can be. And unfortunately, social media doesn’t always play well out there, either. I’ve definitely seen that a play out too in the consulting space where it can be somewhat pretense and and yeah, pretending you know it all, which you don’t always do, and I can say it is as a former consultant. Now, having said that I do have respect for certain consultants a lot, I do think they can be good

Anthony Lamot: central storages of knowledge because they have that unique opportunity to have exposure to certain problems more often than other people. But yes, there can be quite a bit of.

Martin Kihn: Well, no, I mean, in reality, there’s some very smart consultants, and some who are experts, and actually probably better than most practitioners. But I was. I was doing a satire. So it’s kind of skewed the other way. It’s comedy, you know.

Anthony Lamot: That makes sense. Yeah, I asked. You can always pull the comedy card there, I guess.

Martin Kihn: I guess so. Yeah.

Anthony Lamot: So you are also active on social media. I’ve been following you for quite a while, actually, and something I remember seeing was a post about Taylor Swift. I think this has been a while ago, might have been a year, even 2 years, so I wanted to ask you. Do you still consider Taylor Swift a master marketer, and are us 50.

Martin Kihn: Oh, yeah. Well, I’ve been accused of putting Taylor Swift into every one of my presentations every year, and it’s true. Unfortunately. I I really should move on.

Martin Kihn: But I started when I was a gardener, so I joined Salesforce almost 5 and a half years ago. We’ll say 2018. I think I was looking at Taylor Swift as a brand. I’m like, how is she so popular to so many different types of people as is possible, because she is, you know, universally beloved by all people on the left, people on the right, people in the North, people in the South and in Europe. And

Martin Kihn: so I did some research into her. And basically the the short story about that is that she she herself nobody really knows her, at least at that time she was a blank space. We were projecting ourselves onto her. So people saw in her basically more about themselves. So then I thought, well, that’s really genius brand marketing. Because if you can be the kind of brand that has

Martin Kihn: the definition sort of, but is flexible enough that people can see themselves in you. Then you have a much bigger audience. You can have it like a mass audience.

Martin Kihn: because people are ultimately quite selfish. So that’s what she does. Very well. And I I thought that was some. It’s just genius, and she’s even bigger now, you know, she’s just even she’s exploded since then. So.

Anthony Lamot: She’s extremely popular. What I think is interesting, though, that she managed to essentially be this kind of mirror. That’s what you’re saying, right? Just reflecting what our people project on her, whereas so much in branding and marketing is effective because it’s not that because it’s polarizing, a lot of things are very effective because you take a stand because you’re opinionated. And you know, you’re gonna

Anthony Lamot: lose out on some audience because of that. But the rest of the audience can be more engaged because of it.

Martin Kihn: Yeah, cause she she’s a mass brand, like she’s trying to get everybody, not every brand is that way. In fact, that’s not a smart way to be because it it takes an enormous amount of effort and time to do that. And

Martin Kihn: you know investment frankly. But if you’re like it, like Patagonia, for instance, is staked out of claim to Eco friendly. They’re gonna alienate people who are anti green. And there are people out there. That’s okay. They’re like, I’m gonna give up on those people. But I’m gonna really super. Serve the other audience. And that’s perfectly fine.

Anthony Lamot: What would you say? Is it that someone like Taylor Swift, and does to to avoid having to polarize people and still manage to get to capture so many bands.

Martin Kihn: Well, it’s the last year has been a little different cause. She’s she’s made hints politically. She’s sort of to the left, you know, which I value, but but she has alienated some people on the right in the US. Particularly cause we’re so polarized, and the other thing is the whole football thing. So I mean I that hasn’t hurt her career. I think. Now we know she’s a football fan, you know, big deal. So.

Martin Kihn: But she? She just never took a stand on anything. Historically, we didn’t know her opinion about anything to be honest until very recently, and she still doesn’t, really. She kind of hints she’s like, get out and vote. And you have to read between the lines like, Oh, maybe she’s liberal. I don’t know. Maybe. Yeah.

Martin Kihn: but that that’s what she does doesn’t take a stand.

Anthony Lamot: Gotcha. Well, beyond moving on beyond. Taylor. Can you tell us a bit more about a recent project or initiative at Salesforce that you’re particularly proud of, and why it stands out to you.

Martin Kihn: When I started in 2018, they hired me. I was hired by Bob Stuttz into Marketing Cloud in the product team like it was a role called product Strategy, which doesn’t exist and didn’t exist. Just me. But he hired me in, and it was like, well, I was a Gartner. I was looking at Marketing Clouds, and I started to cover this area called Customer Data Platforms, which was new. People talked about it a lot there. There wasn’t a lot of adoption at the time, but a lot of hype like an enormous amount.

Martin Kihn: So the question at Salesforce was, do we have a CDP, do we need to acquire one? Do we need to partner what is going on here? Basically in the marketing space? So I did. I did part of that analysis in the beginning, and my my thesis right away was no, we need we need to at least either acquire or build CDP. Cause you we don’t have it at Salesforce if CRM, it’s net new.

Martin Kihn: And so that was, you know, five and a half six years ago. There wasn’t an acquisition that made sense cause, as you may know, acquiring company and trying to bolt it on, can be more work than just building it from scratch and more difficult depending on the technology. So Brett Taylor Co. CEO at the time decided, you know. See, the CDP is so central to the enterprise. It’s like customer data

Martin Kihn: that we need to build it on the Salesforce platform, on CRM sales, cloud service cloud

Martin Kihn: Data Cloud. What’s now Data Cloud.

Martin Kihn: and that was a brilliant decision. But it it made us it made it take longer. There was like, Why is why is Salesforce so late to the CDP market. Well, the reason is because we were actually building a CD. We had a head start because we had the platform metadata and all that. But it took time. And now it’s three, three and a half years out. And Data Cloud is is huge. I mean, it’s a big product.

Martin Kihn: I I tried to do some research into. Is this the fastest growing software product ever taken on its own?

Martin Kihn: And the answer I got was, Yes, it is, but I can’t really prove it. So I you know, I

Martin Kihn: I don’t make that claim. But I hint that that’s the truth.

Martin Kihn: And I mean the fastest growing software product to, you know, 200,000,300. And beyond.

Anthony Lamot: Well, that’s of course, also because you guys already have such a tremendous portfolio of customers.

Martin Kihn: Yeah, we had advantages. Yeah, we’re not a startup. Yeah.

Anthony Lamot: Absolutely. I also think that something similar happened with Marketing Cloud. Maybe because I still believe Marketing Cloud has been your most successful acquisition in terms of return on investment.

Martin Kihn: Yeah, probably.

Anthony Lamot: Yeah.

Martin Kihn: Yeah, but I mean Marketing Cloud it it was I. I talked to a guy who was at Epsilon, Epsilon, competitor at the time of Marketing Cloud City email.

Martin Kihn: And the guy was like, well, we thought of exact target, which was the acquisition as a you know, pretty good competitor, but definitely not, you know, number one in the field, and but once Salesforce acquired it, it got into the jet stream of the the sales channels it just took off. And so there, there’s a real advantage to being part of the Salesforce kinda sales machine. And I know up on the inside it’s a machine. I mean, they are very disciplined.

Martin Kihn: So you know, that helped.

Anthony Lamot: Absolutely. I’d be curious to learn if you still think Data Cloud to be a CDP, and I’ll you know, justify that question. So I remember initially, when you guys surveyed your customers about, you know what CDPs are using, they answered, oh, we’re using you. Whereas you guys didn’t even have a CDP. As you point out yourself. It was a CRM so clearly there was a lot of confusion market about what a CDP should be, and I I know it. Go went back to an initial white paper, I think back in 2016. It was also a major fast-moving consumer goods company out there that that sent out an RFP for that that triggered a lot of stuff but you guys did start building it.

Anthony Lamot: But over time the name has changed a lot which has, let’s be honest, a bit of a mixed response in the ecosystem. But today, it’s called Data Cloud. And it almost seems that it does more than what a CDP does. That’s what some people have suggested. So I’m kinda curious, especially given your role especially given your history. What’s your take on that? How do you think about Data Cloud? Is it a CDP, is it something else? Is it more than a CDP.

Martin Kihn: It’s I mean, it’s hard to say. An analogy would be CRM, you know the CRM space. So that’s customer relationship management. It appeared in like the nineties, and Gartner in particular, was a champion of CRM.

Martin Kihn: And then CRM became CRM for Sales CRM for service, CRM for field service CRM, for I don’t know medical devices in China, whatever there’s now, there’s oh, probably 3 or 400 different.

Martin Kihn: many categories of CRM. And so Gartner doesn’t even have a magic quadrant for customer relationship management. It’s too many different things. I thought from the beginning CDP would be the same. It’s you know, it’s customer data. It’s so core to the enterprise that it’s going to be adapted to whatever the enterprise is.

Martin Kihn: So it’s not a. It has certain characteristics.

Martin Kihn: and the CDP Institute has done a nice job of defining what those are. But even those characteristics are changing. But one of them, for instance, from the beginning. David Rob, he actually invented the CDP category.

Martin Kihn: It wasn’t me. Someone’s asked me if I did. It was David, ROM. 2013. But, he said, one of the main, you know requirements of a CDP is that it has its own database, that is, you know, you ingest data into it and it stores data.

Martin Kihn: And but now he’s saying, well, actually, there are things he might call a CDP that don’t do that. The so-called composable CDP, where the database is the Data Cloud. It might be Snowflake, or whatever.

Martin Kihn: But is that a CDP or is it not? It might do all the other things, but the data sitting in the in the cloud, it seems to me it probably is a CDP. But it doesn’t fit the definition of a CDP.

Martin Kihn: So to answer your question, my roundabout way is saying, I would say, Data Cloud is not a CDP. It would answer a CDP RFP. But it does more, and its ambition is to do more. And the most important part of that is that it serves the entire customer experience from end to end, from acquisition, through loyalty, through commerce, through service, through sales

Martin Kihn: and marketing, by the way and marketing, but not just marketing. So it’s more ambitious Data Cloud.

Anthony Lamot: Absolutely and naturally, we are very interested in the marketing piece. I see what’s gonna happen with Marketing Cloud Growth for us is very interesting cause. It opens a whole array of possibilities as a software vendor to but maybe before we go there you mentioned Gartner? A few times in passing that. And obviously, you, you know, it was a big part of your career, too.

Anthony Lamot: You guys have recently been named a leader the leader actually in on the quadrant for for a CDP. So congratulations, 1st off, and and secondly, I wanted to ask, like, how important is that relationship with Gardner, and and what effect does it have? On the market? From your point of view.

Martin Kihn: Well, it. This is. This. Evaluation was particularly important.

Martin Kihn: and I think it was important because it was the first major analyst firm that had done an evaluation like a detailed, careful evaluation of the CDP market, and it included most of the actually all of the companies that we would consider major competitors in the CDP space adobe segment teleium.

Martin Kihn: and there were a number of them almost 20. So this was the first evaluation. We took it very seriously. And, in fact, if you saw the questionnaire and the requirements it was. It was a lot of work. They asked for 10 customer references, you know, all of these vendors had to come up with 10 people who would would talk to an analyst.

Martin Kihn: and you know the questionnaire itself was was voluminous. So it was. It was more work than the typical magic Quadrant.

Martin Kihn: We were hopeful. I thought I thought we’d be a leader for sure. We did, really? Well, and I think that that’s just a Testament to. I think a lot of it is the vision like how we articulated where we’re going, and it’s related to the customer experience end and CX.

Martin Kihn: But we did. We came out, you know, highest on both axes. It was and in terms of the response to the market. It’s been very. It’s been very helpful. There been. There were a lot of RFPs in the past where we were up against another CDP. Who was making claims that may or may not have been true. And we’re making different claims that are, of course, all true, but the buyer would have a hard time assessing, you know, who’s telling true. So they want to do a POC. And this just helps. We can say, well, look, here’s an independent source that says that validates some of our claims.

Anthony Lamot: So super interesting. And also given your role. Given your history and the different positions you’ve had to look at the market. I’ll be interested as a software partner to Salesforce. Where do you think could be the opportunity? And maybe, if it’s if it’s too good of an opportunity, you can tell me after the interview after the recording, so other people won’t hear it. But.

Martin Kihn: Yeah. Well, I mean there as a partner.

Martin Kihn: there are things that Salesforce doesn’t do. This isn’t helpful to you, maybe. But like, for instance, we don’t sell data.

Martin Kihn: People are surprised to hear that we actually don’t sell data. And then we don’t sell media.

Martin Kihn: But these are things that users of Data Cloud want to do. They? Wanna, you know, do ad campaigns. And they, wanna you know, append data onto this onto their customer records and their account records. So we have

Martin Kihn: successful partners in those areas. Media partners, we’re a major source of demand for some of the so-called walled gardens and that’s the way you can activate 1st party data and an advertising contact. So you send it over to Facebook and Instagram and Google and Amazon. And those guys are working with us very closely. And we have good connections with them. We send them a lot of, you know business, basically. And so they’re very good partners on the ad side. And then on the data side, we have dense su, we have axiom. And the the, you know, the usual suspects. But they are. We have Co customers with them a lot, so that there’s that area. And then there are

Martin Kihn: there are other areas like the emerging AI space. We we wanna support AI, we have AI features. But I think that most of the user Data Cloud can think of it as source of data repository of data. And you can apply all kinds of stuff to that data. And one of it might be verticalized AI models. And so I think there’s an ecosystem of partners that are arising in that area to use the data and Data Cloud and kind of extend it in different ways.

Martin Kihn: And then, of course, on the Si, the partnership side, we we’re not really a services firm. We have some services just to help the products. But we are very supportive of. And you see, most of the sponsors of connections were actually firms, you know, services firms.

Martin Kihn: Sis, and agencies. Yeah. Actually, McKinsey was a big sponsor of the CMO events. So I take back everything I said about consultants earlier. It doesn’t apply to them. 

Martin Kihn: I mean, they recognize, you know CDP is CDP is not, it’s not all about marketing. It’s about the enterprise, and it’s it’s it’s a major kind of C-suite decision. And it, it would involve a lot of kind of high level thinking and strategy. And so I think everyone recognizes that.

Anthony Lamot: Absolutely. And if you, if you take a step back and look at the market ecosystem as a whole you know, just recently the the the next the latest market landscape publication was done. It just keeps baffling. My, how many more solutions there are! How many more vendors there are, and sure there is, some consolidation, but there’s also still more proliferation so how do you think it will evolve over the next 5 years. And, of course, what role do you envision salesforce playing and shaping that future.

Martin Kihn: I mean, there won’t be–there’ll be acquisitions, you know, because acquisitions, I always think of that when a big strategic acquirer and salesforce has done this not so much recently, but you know it’s it’s almost like there’s R&D done in the market. And so this startup these kind of scrappy startup will appear doing something.and it will succeed. 

Martin Kihn: And so then it gets the notice of a big strategic acquirer, and so they’ll acquire it bring it on. So they’re bringing on the talent, the technology. So in a way, it’s been market tested so that there’s that kind of acquisition. And that will always happen. There’ll always be people with good ideas that will get acquired. But I don’t think that will lead to any consolidation. There will always be more and more and more and more more Logos. And the reason is simple. Scott Brinker said it. He’s like who complains about. You know too much choice in the Itunes store, you know, in the app store. Nobody, I mean. You may not like most of it, but you’re not gonna complain that you have to, you know. Too much choice. Oh, it’s overwhelming. Maybe somebody would. But but that’s not how it works. 

Martin Kihn: You basically want more is more because you have more choice. And with Salesforce’s role, I mean, I think, that the acquisitions that Salesforce makes over over the years have become bigger. So and there’s still there are below the radar. There are smaller ones, particularly in the in the analytics, and the AI space have been a bunch of little ones but our plugins like there’ll be companies that will be on the AppExchange, that kind of reach, critical mass. And we realize it would actually could fold in nicely because it already works with a lot of customers.

Martin Kihn: And but they’re the big ones. And these are kind of big strategic investments like Mulesoft and Tableau and Slack, which was enormous. $27,000,000,000 at the time. And so I think going forward, Salesforce’s role will be to make some of those not very many, very carefully. What they’ll be I don’t know. They didn’t tell me. And then these other ones folding in, you know. But I think that probably the the path to success with Salesforce is to have joint customers and to have customers who are using us together. 

Martin Kihn: And so that’s when the acquisitions make the most sense. 

Anthony Lamot: Absolutely so. It needs to be some prerogative and need to be some track record and history and just good collaboration. I would assume.

Anthony Lamot: I also think that something similar happened with Marketing Cloud. Maybe because I still believe Marketing Cloud has been your most successful acquisition in terms of return on investment.

Martin Kihn: Yeah, and proof that it works together. It’s like, well, velocity is a good example that was like a verticalization of snow, of Salesforce. You know, it was built on Salesforce, basically. And so it made a lot of sense. We would acquire velocity. So now we get of industry clouds.

Martin Kihn: Yeah, but I mean Marketing Cloud it it was I. I talked to a guy who was at Epsilon, Epsilon, competitor at the time of Marketing Cloud City email.

Martin Kihn: And the guy was like, well, we thought of ExactTarget, which was the acquisition as a you know, pretty good competitor, but definitely not, you know, number one in the field, and but once Salesforce acquired it, it got into the jet stream of the the sales channels it just took off. And so there, there’s a real advantage to being part of the Salesforce kinda sales machine. And I know up on the inside it’s a machine. I mean, they are very disciplined.

Martin Kihn: So you know, that helped.

Anthony Lamot: Absolutely so. So, going from the market landscape as a whole is zooming again on Marketing Cloud. Specifically, what would you say? Our sales, forces, goals, what we can share? In terms of goals for market cloud, specifically in the next few years. And and how might they transform customer interactions.

Martin Kihn: Well, I think Marketing Cloud is you know, it’s a successful product. It’s a growing product. I think that it’s from the inside of Salesforce our goal.

Martin Kihn: particularly since I joined. I don’t give myself credit for this. I think the vision has been there.

Martin Kihn: But actually, Steve Fisher get the he’s our kind of product strategist he was. He’s a friend of Mark Benioff. So we was hired probably 3 years ago or so he worked at ebay. He was retired, and Mark kind of brought him in out of retirement.

Martin Kihn: Brilliant man, you know, and he’s a strategic thinker. But his point was, you know, we need to make everything we need to take all of these applications and break them down into services and build them all on the same platform, you know. So basically, that’s a big effort behind the scenes. We are in the process of kind of decomposing the applications, including exact target and into its components and then putting them on Salesforce platform, which is, you know, hyperforce and then Data Cloud. Now is the data layer, and then the analytics services. The other like flow services on top of that. And the reason to do that is just so that the clouds, the clouds, which will always exist work better together.

Martin Kihn: So that you know you can do things in the same way through the same UI and marketing and service. So then your marketing service teams basically can serve the customer in a way that’s kind of invisible to the customer. That’s the goal. So I think ultimately, you know, it’s a year, and we’re on a journey. Year by year you saw Marketing Cloud Growth Edition, which was kind of a mini version of Marketing Cloud which was built on our platform that use flow instead of Journey Builder.

Martin Kihn: So that is a taste of you know where we’re going, I think in the long run the customer shouldn’t notice it, they should just notice, it works better but behind the scenes things will be changing.

Anthony Lamot: Absolutely, and I think it’s a really exciting change, and it’ll be helpful. And, as I mentioned, we also consider as as I mentioned before. In other places we consider Marketing Cloud grow like super interesting, because it’s yeah. It present. It presented itself a new opportunity for us to

Anthony Lamot: in those shorter term, even because it does address more SMB needs. That’s how it’s positioned. But in the longer term beyond that, I think as well

Martin Kihn: We also wanted to, because there’s companies out there with product-led growth, you know. Think of Hubspot, so you can sign up for Hubspot as a relatively small business, and it’s easy, and then you grow with them. So then, when you become big, you know, if you become big, then you’re still a Hubspot customer, so we wanted to make that it wasn’t so easy with Salesforce. We were expensive. We were large, we were. You had to call the salesperson

Martin Kihn: couldn’t use your credit card, so we wanted to make it easy to have an entry and then grow.

Anthony Lamot: Yes, absolutely. And we’re also huge fans of PLG and product-led growth. So for for those who don’t know what that is, it’s usually something like a premium model where people get to try your product for free for a while or indefinitely, but at the limited usage. And then basically, you get hooked, and you start using the product more and more until you take out a credit card or or whatever and so we’ve we kind of have done that always because we have made this free plugin called DESelect Search for the Marketing Cloud. A. That’s a search part to it.

Anthony Lamot: although I would typically think more of it as a lead magnet. But it’s been a tremendous lead magnet for us. But we’ve actually also started to create a free version of our segmentation solution for the Marketing Cloud.

Anthony Lamot: DESelect Segment, so people can now install it for free and and and work with it. And and it’s interesting. It does take a lot more work and discipline, I would say then, as as a SaaS company initially think of, because there are no services, there is no support. There’s no training like the product needs to be

Anthony Lamot: like super self explanatory and and and the learning portals, and whatever needs to be really there. So there’s definitely been a journey for us to to, to appreciate that.

Martin Kihn: That’s a good point. You can’t do. Hand holding. It’s too expensive, so has to be intuitive. Yeah.

Anthony Lamot: Exactly. There’s also a growing emphasis, emphasis. Excuse me on on 0 party data and and gaining traction. How is Salesforce equipping marketers to effectively collect and utilize zero-party data within Data Cloud and Marketing Cloud.

Martin Kihn: Yeah, I mean zero party. I mean, it was zero party. And first party, I mean, first party CRM is mostly all first-party data. So that’s it’s not new to Salesforce. Zero-party would be. You know, you’re trying to collect it from customers actively. I think that in the past four years there’s been a lot more interest in that. It’s been almost a. There’s been a sense of urgency that kind of at times felt like panic that

Martin Kihn: customers didn’t have enough first-party data, and particularly in the consumer product area, where traditionally, they they don’t have direct relationships with customers. And

Martin Kihn: and these are big companies, you know, and and a lot of them were quite concerned. And then they were concerned about the regulatory and our our answer to all of that is it. It will be different for every company. Some, you know, in a in every case going forward without third-party cookies. Someone will have to have first-party data

Martin Kihn: it. It’s either you or you can. You can use a like a retail network, or you can use the walled gardens or so there, but someone out there. And you see so many know that retail media networks appearing, which are basically companies like Uber, that have, or Marriott that have first-party data, and they’re just making it available, you know, for advert. You can rent it essentially to do targeting.

Martin Kihn: But zero-party data is important, and I think that we made the acquisition of Evergage few years ago, which is a personalization platform and it what it does, is it in the session? It will make the experience more relevant. And it ultimately, it’s trying to get people to engage with the website, with the app.

Martin Kihn: That’s what it does is personalization platform. And a lot of that is about trying to get them to give them enough value that they give you an email or some kind of first-party data so that you can build a relationship with them in a profile. And that that’s that was very popular. You know, it’s it’s been a very successful product for us personalization.

Martin Kihn: It’s getting closer and closer to Data Cloud because they’re related the data that’s collected. And the personalization needs to reside. We hope in Data Cloud ultimately.

Martin Kihn: And so you can. You know, it’s gives you a more complete picture, because I think that early in the journey you don’t know somebody. So you’re using a first-party cookie or nothing.

Martin Kihn: and you’re just trying to personalize, based on behavior in that session. And then, as you, as you get their email and you get a deeper relationship, you get a better profile of them over time. And that deeper profile is something that should reside in Data Cloud. Ultimately.

Anthony Lamot: Seen it firsthand at some larger implementation projects where

Anthony Lamot: the prevailing IT and marketing leaders had the initial inclination to use sort of legacy data from older ERP systems to do their marketing campaigns for their brand new marketing automation platform of choice. The customer I’m thinking about right now was using at the time. So name part of it now, Marketing Cloud Account Engagement.

Anthony Lamot: And from what I’ve seen, that just doesn’t work because all of the data is super outdated. There might be a massive disconnect between the people who generate those lists and the marketing teams. So you really want to get this sort of actual constantly updated stream of data of based on how customers really engage with your brand to drive your marketing from. From what I can tell.

Martin Kihn: It’s true. I mean, there are some characteristics that don’t change much over time, but not very many.

Martin Kihn: I mean, I’m always. I’ll always. I’m a male, you know, so I guess I’d be buying men’s clothing so that won’t change. But, on the other hand, the most important determinants of a of purchase are things that are in the moment a lot of it is, how much time do I have to decide? So that kind of stress factor.

Martin Kihn: What up? What’s what do I need right then? Like, what am I actually literally looking for? Am I looking for credit card or or home loan, and you wouldn’t know that unless you’re observing me in that session, or you, you learned it somehow. But that that’s the most. That’s the most important information. And then the other stuff. That kind of doesn’t decay over time is less important. It’s also most likely to be known by your competitors. So it’s less differentiated as well.

Anthony Lamot: That’s a good point on the competitive side. So it’s almost as if the ability to capture real-time engagement and and buy intention whether it’s in B to C or B to B, is super important. I also see it in my business, after all, right? So finding out what could be the ideal customer. And ICP is really important, especially for our own outbound strategy, which we do have.

Anthony Lamot: but being able to surface buyer signals, even if anything beyond the obvious hey, giving me a demo is also really important to get to be successful.

Martin Kihn: Yeah, that I mean, there’s even data about where someone is having an impact on their purchase it like, are they outside or in the office. They’re different kind of mindsets.

Martin Kihn: So there’s all sorts of information that you could. If you have it, you can do much better marketing.

Anthony Lamot: Absolutely.

Martin Kihn: You have to collect it. Telemetry.

Anthony Lamot: Have to collect them, for sure.

Anthony Lamot: And there’s another important term with zero in it that I wanna address because it’s a more recent announcement from Salesforce. And it has to do with Zero Copy Data.

Anthony Lamot: Of course. So which is not to be confused with the thing we’ve just discussed. So can you please elaborate on what it means, and explain to our audience.

Martin Kihn: Well, it’s highly related to Snowflake in particular cause. They developed a technology number of years ago people and underestimated it actually. But it was. It’s an ability to it’s, it’s very advanced technology. But now it’s widely used. But basically, it’s ability to have data, two data stores. You can have more than two. But as an example, two, you have Data Cloud. And then you have data in Snowflake.

Martin Kihn: and you can literally access data and Data Cloud or the data in Snowflake either way without moving it. So when I say access, it means, you know what’s there. You have visibility into it, and if you do a query, you can use the data that’s sitting in this other database. But you’re not lifting it and shifting it into the new environment which saves a lot of time and effort and money. You know.

Martin Kihn: computational costs and all that. So it’s very useful. And it also helps in terms of data discipline. There’s information that you’d want to reside in the cloud. All your product data, maybe a transaction data

Martin Kihn: in Snowflake or in Databricks or BigQuery. And then in Data Cloud, you have other information about customers, but maybe not all your product information. But you’d want to know some of the product information if you make recommendations about products. So it’s relevant.

Martin Kihn: But you don’t want it all. So it’s it’s a way to kind of connect. And it’s it’s just gonna get more and more rel, more and more prevalent to the point where maybe in the future there won’t. There won’t be any databases. It’ll all be this kind of virtualized environment where where data sitting in hundreds and thousands of different places. But it’s all available centrally.

Martin Kihn: Who knows but.

Anthony Lamot: So you just have an application layer that taps into these data lakes using zero copy in that sense that it will be kind of funny if for some customers, not for all. If for some customers, Data Cloud gets to be used as a composable CDP, because it could be possible.

Martin Kihn: Could be, yeah.

Anthony Lamot: Figure.

Martin Kihn: I mean, we compete with composable CDPs, and they say frankly untrue things about us. There’s one recently that said, there are there. We? We make copies. It’s not zero copy, which is not true. It it’s it is zero copy. It’s also zero ETL. But I mean, you can make a copy. Then sometimes there’s an advantage to making a copy. So but you you can. You can use Data Cloud. I mean, we don’t describe it as composable CDP, but you can do composable use cases like you can have data sitting in your in your data warehouse and still use segmentation in the Data Cloud. So that’s sort of proposal.

Anthony Lamot: Very interesting, would you? Is there an example that you have in mind when you say that there could be advantages to storing or not storing the data. I think it could just make it a little bit more concrete for the people who are listening.

Martin Kihn: Oh, yeah, definitely. Well, like for instance, in

Martin Kihn: in Snowflake, Snowflake is is. And I keep using them as an example. But it could be Databricks. It could be BigQuery, you could. You could have, you know, all of your transactional data

Martin Kihn: like every single transaction that’s made in all of your stores and all of your place, all of your online areas. And some of it is connected to an individual, maybe through a loyalty program. So there’s a person label on it. Some of it isn’t.

Martin Kihn: But you wouldn’t necessarily want all of that to be copied and transported into Data Cloud. If you’re a big retailer, you might have millions and millions of records, even billions in a couple of months.

Martin Kihn: And does that belong in Data Cloud? It’s still relevant cause. I want to do a recommendation or even segmentation based on the products someone has bought.

Martin Kihn: you know, in the past, or even trends in their product purchase, so that might be relevant to I put them in this segment or I wanna, make a product recommendation based on purchases that made recently. And I want it to be exhaustive. I wanted to include all the stuff that they did offline. I wanna stuff that’s done online. So I want access to the purchase data. But I don’t. I don’t. Doesn’t make sense for me personally to store it all in Data Cloud. So this zero copy is is a way to make that happen.

Martin Kihn: you know, to make that feasible in a way. And in the past it would have been, but it

Martin Kihn: transporting. There’s a lot of costs involved if people will know in it. People in marketing don’t realize this. But there’s there’s a lot of expense involved in anything where you transform data, computational expense or store data, there’s a storage expense, believe it or not. And then moving data is both storage and a computational expense. So it’s. And also you introduce risk. There’s always mistakes that happen. You know, things that aren’t copied right? Or there’s errors that are introduced.

Martin Kihn: And then there’s also a time lag. It doesn’t happen instantly. So then you have a later copy of the data sitting over here doesn’t sync.

Martin Kihn: So there’s issues with copying always.

Anthony Lamot: Yeah, thank you. Appreciate you. Elaborating on that example makes a little bit more concrete, I think, for for people who are not as familiar with these technologies yet. We’re getting close to having to run up this really interesting conversation. But one thing I wanted to ask you is, what advice would you give to aspiring more tech leaders want to make a significant impact in the industry and specific skills? Maybe a mindset concepts frameworks that you think are really crucial these days.

Martin Kihn: I mean, I always think that in conversations I have with people who are, you know, like myself, farther along their career. Looking back, and I think it’s good to have technical knowledge. Now, you don’t need to have a PhD. Or be a master’s or anything like that. But it is like, if you’re in an analytical area, you know, take a class in python and actually do coding

Martin Kihn: or SQL. Or even though you think computers will be doing it. It’s not important, the this, the whole exercise of learning how to do this, to think how to do it, to be structured will really help.

Martin Kihn: and I found, like I did a sequel boot camp. I didn’t know any sequel, and I did that. I don’t do it. I don’t use it in my job.

Martin Kihn: But I can ask more intelligent questions. I can understand things more concretely, and it’s all because I kind of know how that works. In a way, I’m not an expert. No one would hire me to write sequel for them, but, on the other hand, I don’t know nothing, so I think that’s always very helpful. Any anything, actually, especially with AI. Now, you know, get to figure out how it works. I mean.

Martin Kihn: it’s not that hard.

Anthony Lamot: I actually love that answer because I I studied psychology and I went into consulting whoops kidding, but along the way I taught myself how to code, and it indirectly led me to to the founding of my company, because if I hadn’t understood the technologies that I taught myself how to use, I would never have been able to come up with the idea. And today I don’t code at all. But it’s been a while since I did, but I did at the start. But

Anthony Lamot: again, if I hadn’t learned the technical skills I wouldn’t have been able to see the solution, even though I am more on the quote, unquote business side. So I love that answer. Marty, it’s been such a pleasure. Such an interesting conversation. Where can people connect with you? Where can I follow you and find you?

Martin Kihn: Well, I’m you can reach me at Salesforce, m.kihn@salesforce. I have a website martinkihn.com.

Martin Kihn: and yeah, Linkedin. Happy to help. Talk about Data Cloud, yeah.

Anthony Lamot: Absolutely. Absolutely. We’ll make sure to add those handles in the description, too, of the interview. And yeah, once again, thank you so much for being on the show, and hope to see in the future.

Martin Kihn: Thank you. Thanks, Anthony.

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